During the last month I have been following different kind of concepts and reports that take corporate responsibility into account. Some are parts of formal annual reporting, or CSR reports and some are marketing concepts talking about sustainability or corporate responsibility. And then there is the ESG world with financial institutions and their own reporting models as part of the UNPRI organization. So there are different kind of angles, reports and communication to this topic.

But what is the common thing for each of them? It is about the competitivness of the company. The channels, the target audience and the tools may be different, but the outcome should be the same. Corporate responsibility is the future key for business success, as Mr. Bruce Oreck, the US Ambassador in Finland, said a couple of years ago in Helsinki. And yes, corporate responsibility is one of the most important elements in corporate strategy framework.

And this integrated thinking is becoming more common, partly due to the legislation of corporate reporting of non-financial information but also due to the fact that investors and consumers are interested of these issues. And if you think about listed companies, the fact that ESG-investors are growing douple-digit in Europe, make the new investor target group interesting for many listed companies.

For coprorate management the big question is to make innovative corporate responsibility strategy which helps to determine the relevant business opportunities, targets, KPIs, risks but also for to create shared value in the long term. But it is also about gathering the data, collaborate with the value chain, manage the change and communicate it with different stakeholders. Much of the work is also analysing the outcomes and making needed adjustments.

There is no one size fits for all type thinking in this strategy work. But companies starting to make the big change, environmental issues are in the front line and carbon footprint might be the first question the investors are asking. And what is your impact in your value chain?

Päivi Härkönen

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